Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

Enjoyable Movement Boosts Body Image

The Body Image Project 2

The Body Image Project, Beauty as a Relative Concept, exhited at MSU this week

What do you think you look like? What do you say to yourself when you catch your reflection in a mirror or window or picture? Your body image is how you see yourself in your mind’s eye. Given the idealistic images constantly bombarding us, it’s not surprising that many people think and say negative things about their bodies. In fact by adulthood, most people disapprove of their own bodies.

Children as young as 5-years-old say they don’t like how their bodies look. Recent data shows that in grade school, 40 percent of girls and 25 percent of boys are dissatisfied with their bodies. The numbers escalate through the teenage years and into adulthood when approximately 60 percent of women report body dissatisfaction. Continue reading


Curried Chickpeas on a Bed of Greens

How To Cook Vegetarian: Legumes was attended by a large group of interactive women. Sharing ideas amongst ourselves is a great way of becoming inspired.


asofoetida--use a pinch as a flavor enhancer

Kiran shared a suggestion for a flavor enhancer, asafoetida. This spice is popular in vegetarian dishes, especially those with beans or lentils, as it is known as a digestive aid.  When uncooked, it has a pungent odor. Add it to hot oil or ghee and it gives off an aroma of strong onions and garlic. It develops the flavors more deeply in the recipe. Add it cautiously! Begin with just a pinch.

The first recipe I prepared today was not in your handout.  Here’s the recipe as I prepared it. You can add a pinch of asafoetida powder with the other spices if desired.

Curried Chickpeas on a Bed of Greens

  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to taste
  • 2 (14- or 15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, more to taste
  • salt and pepper
  • baby greens or other lettuce

In a saute pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until the onion is deep golden and crispy, stirring frequently, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the spices and cook; stir constantly, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Add chickpeas, cilantro and lemon juice and continue to cook, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat. Taste; add salt if desired beginning with 1/4 teaspoon. Cool. Transfer to container or serving dish, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more to allow the flavors to meld. Taste; add salt, lemon juice and pepper as desired. Serve on a bed of baby greens. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

French Foodie Flick

Julie_and_juliaIf you haven’t seen Julie and Julia yet, I recommend it. I saw it twice–in the same weekend. Once with my hubby and once with my cooking friends. Meryl Streep captured the essence of Julia Child. I could see and feel Julia’s passion about food.

Julia was a foodie long before her training at Cordon Bleu and opening her own cooking school, L’Ecole Des 3 Courmandes. It was her love of food that led to her career as a gourmet, making French cuisine accesible to “the servantless American cook.” That would be me!

French cooking is high on flavor. The French strike a perfect balance when it comes to great tasting food–and you can too. Here’s how it works:

  • Excellent flavor leads to pleasure.
  • Pleasure allows you to tune-in to each bite, savoring the texture, flavor and aroma.
  • Over-indulgence isn’t necessary when you freely offer yourself flavorful food.

Mediocrity may leave you wanting for more. Notice what happens when you settle for something to eat that isn’t what you were craving. Do you eat less than you desire, but keep munching trying to find that certain somethng that really hits the spot?

So you say, “I can’t cook gourmet for all of my meals.” Not every meal has to be bon vivant. But every meal can offer you something you are excited about. Sometimes your meals will be ho-hum and you have to make do. That’s okay–eat enough to get by and plan to have something tasty and delicious at your next meal.

If you get in a rut and can’t think of a thing to make for dinner, here are some ideas to put you back on track:

  • Pick up a food magazine at the newstand. They feature seasonal recipes and usualy have great pictures to entice you.
  • Borrow a cookbook from the library.
  • Tune-in to a cooking show. I particularly like PBS’s America’s Test Kitchen. A friend told me that she and her daughter like the Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa because Ina Garten makes simple dishes and instructs in a calming manner.
  • Take a cooking class through your local community education program, community college or university. Check around–there may be a local entrepeneur offering cooking lessons.

And that entrepeneur just may be another Julia Child. Can you imagine? Enrolling in a cooking class in 1950’s Paris and having Julia as your instructor?! L’Ecole Des 3 Courmandes, the name of Julia and friends’ school, translated is “The School of the 3 Happy Eaters.” Now that’s a place I would enthusiastically enroll. Bon appetit!

Toddlers do it, so can you

I love to watch toddlers eat. If I had my druthers, I would choose a table in a restaraunt with a  view of a little guy or gal eating. They are perfect examples of normal eaters.

How do I know this? Because when he feels hunger coming on, he let’s everyone know! He sounds the signal, whatever he has found that works. For my son, it was shaking the high chair. For my daughter, it was pointing at the cupboard. Some kids know other ways of communicating. If the parent doesn’t respond, the signal gets louder. Young children are very certain of when they are hungry and need food.

Next, the responsive parent sits them down with some food in front of them. Often the toddler will pick and choose what he wants to eat. The rest will be left untouched or, more dramatically, go over the side. Even though there is food left, the toddler may want more of whatever it was he found to be tasty. Terrific–he knows his appetite!

All of a sudden, the determined eater just stops. Wants no more. Demands to get down. Throws a fit! No matter what the parent does, he won’t eat another bite. You gotta love it. The toddler is full and knows it.

Call it satiety, the very thing that many adults want to rediscover. Trust me, and yourself–it’s still there.

THE Pumpkin Dessert

pumpkin dessertFind this fine pumpkin dessert at The Finer Things in Life